Monday, September 16, 2013

Roman Style Spaghetti Carbonara

This is not the Spaghetti Carbonara you are used to seeing in restaurants.  It isn't made with peas or cream.  This is so much better!  The ingredient list is short and as is true of many simple dishes, the combination of a few quality ingredients creates a delicious, creamy sauce that has my husband scraping the bowl before he does the dishes. 

This dinner is super fast.  In the time it takes to cook the spaghetti, dinner is ready.  Start out by putting a pot of water on to boil for the spaghetti.  Then heat up some olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add in some diced pancetta (I use the citterio pancetta cubetti) and cook, stirring occasionally.

While the pancetta is browning, crack a bunch of black pepper (I just do this into the bowl I am going to mix up the pasta in).  When you think you have enough pepper, add a little more.  My little assistant really likes using the pepper grinder so sometimes I set him to work on this step. 

Once the pancetta is lightly browned, stir in the pepper and cook for about 2 more minutes.  Then pour it into a big serving bowl to cool slightly.

By now your water should be boiling so put in a pound of spaghetti and cook until al dente.

Who likes Parmesan?  If you don't, I'm not sure we can be friends (unless you have a legitimate allergy or something).  I love Parmesan a lot, like more than you can possibly imagine.  Put a bunch of Parmesan in the bowl with the pancetta.  I used my favorite Parmesan and Romano blend from TJ's.

Doesn't that look like heaven?

Now add a whole egg and a few egg yolks (I save the whites for Josh to have for breakfast the next day).  Stir this all together until it is well combined.  This is going to be your sauce.  Don't worry, the heat from the pasta will cook the egg.

Once the pasta is ready add it to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it all together really well.  I find tongs to be the easiest way of doing this.  Then add some pasta water a little at a time until the sauce is as creamy as you want it to be. 

Even if you are a big fan of American style Carbonara, give this recipe a try.  The sauce is so deliciously silky.  The tang of the Parmesan, the bite from the pepper, and the saltiness of the pancetta all combine to make an irresistible dish.

Doesn't this just make you want to stuff your face make this for dinner?

Roman Style Spaghetti Carbonara
Adapted from Saveur magazine
  • 1 lb. spaghetti 
  • 4 tbls. olive oil
  • 4 oz. diced pancetta
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions for al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add pancetta and cook about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
  3. Stir in pepper and cook about 2 more minutes.
  4. Pour pancetta mixture into a large serving bowl to cool slightly.
  5. Add parmesan, egg, and egg yolks to pancetta mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Put cooked spaghetti in bowl and mix together, adding pasta water a little at a time until you have reached your desired consistency. 

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